Why do people retire early? For some, early retirement is not an option: poor-health or workplace downsizing can force people out of the workforce. People who are in poor health, stressed, or burned out also opt for early retirement. However, others are offered attractive retirement packages or have saved for retirement. I personally believe that the decision of whether or not to retire early, one has to consider it carefully, and planning for an early retirement is a must. An analysis of data gathered in the 2007 general social survey found that 22% of "near retirees" planned to retire before they hit 60 and 25% before their 65 birthdays. "Age 65 is still an important reference point for retirement, with 25 per cent of near-retirees planning to leave the workforce at that age. Another 4 per cent plan on retiring at age 66 or older.” Others who were polled were unsure about when they planned to retire. There are benefits and pitfalls to retiring early.
I will discuss first the benefits then the pitfalls. Those who perceive themselves to be in poor health, stressed, or dissatisfied with their work, find reduced stress and improved health once they retire. Furthermore, there is also more time to pursue interests. For some it's creating new work opportunities. For other it's spending more time with the grandkids or writing that great Canadian novel. Many find travel to be fulfilling, for example planning a big trip as a way to keep busy for the first six months after retiring to avoid the sense of loss and depression. Indulging in hobbies or athletics activities are fulfilling too. If people are physically fit, financially secure, and mentally sharp, many of the problems of aging kind of fall away. Volunteering is a good way to make retirement enjoyable as well. Early retiree named Michelle Traynor sums up the benefits of retirement: she said "I really enjoy the fact that I don't have to answer to anyone but myself now." On the other hand, there can...
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